HCAOA’s Vicki Hoak opened the news conference stating that today older Americans and people with disabilities cannot access the care and support they need to remain as independent as possible in their own homes.
“We simply don’t have the supply of professional caregivers to meet the rising demand for home care,” said Hoak. “This is not just a problem for the home care industry; this is a crisis facing our society, a society that is growing older every day. By 2040, 81 million people in the U.S. will be 65 years and older, compared with 72 million under the age of 18. This means that America will soon consist of more old than young.”
NAHC President Bill Dombi emphasized that this is a multi-dimensional issue, and the Alliance is committed to bringing together the expertise of other stakeholders to explore an integrated focus on home care aides’ compensation and benefits, career growth, and elevating the profession of caregiving.
Stakeholders would include patients, home care aides, nurses, members of Congress, state lawmakers, and others interested in addressing this critical issue.” explained Dombi. “We’ve all recognized this is a problem, but we continue to work within our silos. But now, by joining together, we can succeed.”
David Totaro of BAYADA Home Health also spoke about the challenges home care agencies are experiencing. Last September, Bayada had to decline about 50% of all the cases it received. By the end of March 2022, the company’s declination rate was nearly 67%, reported Totaro.
The group’s first initiative, “Voices for Care at Home,” aims to share and gather the stories of caregivers, providers, clients, families, and others who have experienced home care especially those who are having difficulty getting the help they need.
“We’re hoping everyone, especially HCAOA members and their clients, will go to the website and write their story. Stories are powerful when it comes to advocacy,” said Hoak. “The campaign’s goal is to not only highlight the issues causing the shortage but to find concrete solutions to address the shortage.”
To share your story, click here.
The next step is to form workgroups that will address the various causes for the workforce shortage. Members interested in participating in the groups are urged to send their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.